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"Tube acrylics" Topic

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Alik9912 Mar 2019 10:49 a.m. PST

Hello – Someone who knew I painted figures kindly gave me a present of a box of tube acrylics, not knowing about hobby paints.

I'm having difficulty mixing them to the consistency of Vallejo paints – one second it's a lump of paint being pushed around with the brush, the next a thin watery puddle. I can't seem to get the paint just the way I want it, even after adding different amounts of water.

Would adding flow improver, or acrylic medium, or something else help?


Rich Bliss Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2019 10:54 a.m. PST

What brand. I use Liquitex tube acrylics almost exclusively and don't have problems with consistency. I usually just wet a large cheap brush to add water in a small well of a palette.

Aethelflaeda was framed12 Mar 2019 12:04 p.m. PST

Add medium as well instead of only water. You can buy it by the bottle.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Mar 2019 12:07 p.m. PST

Acrylic matt medium is best, you should not need flow improver. Use a small, shallow dish or a deep well in a plastic palette for mixing – easier than a flat area.

If the tube acrylics were cheap ones you may find that the proportion of body filler in the paint makes them almost useless when thinned.

I started using acrylics with tube paints, before model acrylics were readily available, and the old 'flow formula' was easy to use but artists acrylics were much more difficult.

Liquitex is about the closest you get today though there are a few other expensive brands that work OK. One issue is that they don't all dry matt, some have a distinct gloss to them on non-absorbent surfaces.

jwebster12 Mar 2019 12:25 p.m. PST

I have not found tube acrylics, even more expensive ones, to give much coverage when diluted to a point where brush strokes won't show

I mixed up a couple of dropper bottles with diluted paint to use as washes

I use a 50% matt medium/50% water for all my paint dilutions

Good luck


Oppiedog12 Mar 2019 12:40 p.m. PST

Mostly just use them for terrain and building items. Never could get them work well for miniatures or wasn't worth the battle.

Alik9914 Mar 2019 4:55 p.m. PST

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

The acrylics were boxed under the name of a store, so I assume they may not be professional standard which, as mentioned above, could be part of the problem.

I'll try some acrylic medium. If I'm not successful with that, I'll use them for terrain and buildings. There are a couple of greens and a couple of browns. I can try mixing the other colours to hopefully end up with something useful.

GildasFacit mentions they may not dry matt on figures. That's one thing I don't have to worry about – all my figures (horse & musket periods) are varnished gloss. I'm "Old School": my wargames still looking as though it was 1960s or 70s!

Thanks again, Alik

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